The health of your garden soil is an integral part of your garden's success. Soil that contains too much clay or not enough nutrients will not help your garden plants grow properly. Here are some ways you can increase the fertility of your garden soil.
Lay an Organic Weed Barrier
Use a weed barrier in your garden can benefit you and your garden soil in several ways. First, a weed barrier will help control the growth of weeds and decrease the amount of time you spend working in your garden. A weed barrier will also help keep moisture in your soil, decreasing the amount of water you use to water your garden plants. Then, when you use an organic weed barrier, the materials you are using will break down throughout the season and add nutrients back to your soil.
One of the best types of weed barrier to use that will decompose in the soil is newspaper. Be careful not to use paper that is glossy, as it can contain chemicals that may not benefit your garden soil. Regular newsprint is the best to lay down as a barrier and will block out the sunlight, water, and oxygen to help reduce the number of weeds that grow.
Submerge and soak a stack of newspapers in a basin of water until the newspapers are saturated. Then, remove and unfold the newspaper sections, laying them over the soil in your garden. If you lay down the newspaper several pages thick, it helps the newspaper to not tear while you are working with them and will create a thicker weed barrier. As the newspapers dry in the sun, they will create a hard shell.
At the end of the season or early the next spring, till the decomposing newspaper into your soil to boost its nutrients.
Add Compost Materials
There are many types of materials you can add to increase the nutrients in your soil. You can add lawn clippings to the surface of your soil each time you cut your grass. Then, throughout the year, mix the clippings into the soil with a shovel, or till it into the soil in the fall or spring. You can also use your lawn clippings to cover the soil and make pathways through your garden. This is a good way to keep down the mud in your garden while you are working in your garden.
If you have a neighbor who raises backyard chickens, ask them if they have any extra chicken droppings, which you can add to and combine into your soil. Chicken droppings are one of the best types of fertilizers and is called "black gold" by many farmers who use it for its beneficial fertilizing nutrients.
Just be sure to mix it thoroughly into your garden soil and not directly around plants, as its high nitrogen levels can cause burns to your plants. It can be a good idea to mix it into your soil in the fall and allow it to decompose over the winter to reduce its nitrogen levels so it does not harm your garden plants.
Use these two methods to increase the nutrients in your garden soil. Click here for more info about this topic.